Lyricist Javed Akhtar in his response to actor Kangana Ranaut's plea to transfer the defamation proceedings initiated against her to another court, claiming bias by the present court, has said she has only done so to delay the proceedings and harass him.
"That owing to the absence of the accused the trial in the matter had not moved further and the accused has on every date deployed tactics to delay the matter with an intent to derail the matter and cause further harassment to Respondent No. 1 (Akhtar)," his reply read.
In the response filed through advocates Jay Bharadwaj and Priya Arora, Akhtar has said that the falsehood in Kangana's plea can be gauged from the fact that she chose to file the same upon willful and deliberate absence before the Andheri magistrate court on September 14. The court had required her presence to record her statement with regard to the defamation complaint against her.
Further, the reply stated that the grounds mentioned in her plea were raised for the first time after more than seven months of her being summoned by that court. Akhtar said it was with "the sole intent to delay the matter".
The lyricist's response pointed out that Kangana had already unsuccessfully challenged the legal and procedural aspects followed by the Andheri magistrate before the sessions court. Then she had challenged the proceedings before the Bombay High Court too, but her petition was dismissed.
Additional Metropolitan Magistrate ST Dande before whom the response was filed, called for the response of Andheri Magistrate RR Khan before whom the defamation proceedings are on.
Kangana had claimed in her transfer plea that the Andheri court is biased against her and has time and again threatened to issue an arrest warrant against her. Her lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee had told the magistrate that she had no faith in the court and that she has filed a counter complaint against Akhtar before another court and would want the matters to be clubbed and heard together.
Akhtar's defamation proceedings arose from Kangana's interview to a TV channel last year in which she called him part of a certain gang while speaking on actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide case.
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